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Melissa
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Stella is nearly three weeks old and is due home on October 9th! Very exciting! It will just be me and her versus the world, and I'm so happy.

When I go pick her up, my boyfriend will be flying in from Indiana and is planning to stay here for the first three weeks or maybe even month that I have her. I'm taking two days off work so I can have a four day weekend with her, first.

MY first concern is this. I am a teacher (first year, I'm 22) and I leave my house around 7am and, at the earliest, I am home between 3:45 and 4:15, provided I have no errands to run (which I always try to avoid and usually succeed at! haha) ... Luckily, as I mentioned before, baby Stella will be taken care of during the day by my boyfriend, given company and plenty of potty breaks for the first good 3 weeks to month of her life with me. But I am worried about how things will be once he has to go back to Indiana. I know it would be wrong to crate her for such a long time and at such a young age, and so far my only solutions are to have my mom come by during the day or send her to daycare 2-3 days out of the week. The thing is, if my mom gets this full time job she's been wanting, she won't be available for that. And puppy daycare can get expensive when you're paying all the bills by yourself. I thought about paying a college student to come by and spend a half hour or so with her for about $20 a day 2 or 3 days a week, but I still worry about her being alone. I know some people have done it before, and I'm hoping that on days where she has to be crated for a while the TV or radio and some toys will help keep her company for the time being. (I will probably usually leave a radio or something on when I leave the house anyway, even if it's just for a while.)

Otherwise, Stella will go EVERYWHERE with me! I will especially frequent restaurants that will allow pups on their outdoor patio. :)

So what else do you suggest I do to help my little girl not feel so lonely during the day? Is there anything else I can try after my boyfriend goes back to Indiana besides paying for a visitor, paying for daycare, or (selfishly!) hoping mom stays a substitute?? (I REALLY want her to get this full time job though!)

Secondly --

I only intend to be in Houston for this next year. I want to move to Austin afterwards, find a job with better pay, and hopefully buy a home with two or three bedrooms that I can rent out to highly trustworthy, qualified people. For now though, Stella will be with me in this little apartment, but with frequent, and I do me frequent visits to the nearby dog park, and all sorts of outdoor fun. Is it really terrible that my golden will be in an apartment for the first year of her life? I know they need a bunch of room, but I was hoping she wouldn't be *too* mad at me if I promised her a big living room and her own backyard next year in the great city of Austin. :)

Thank you for all your suggestions. I have waited for this day, to say that she is coming home on THIS date, to mark down the days on the calendar, for so long. She's going to be my best friend and I hope I can be her great leader. I love her so much already, and I don't even know which one out of this litter of 13 she is yet! :) (But I'm sure you can relate to that feeling.)
 

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Instead of the college kid coming by, check for a pet sitting service. They usually have a weekly rate that is reasonable and you can get a set schedule of the same time every day and they will usually play with them and walk them tiring them out till you can get home from work.
Good luck with her and cant wait to you get to bring her home to start spoiling her
 

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A LOT of people make schedules like yours and apartments work! It is totally possible, but requires a lot of work on your part. Basically a ton of your time after work is dedicated to your pup. If you're ready for a lifestyle change like that then everything will work out fantastic. I am 22 myself and raised a puppy from 9 weeks who is now 7 months. Granted, he is in training to be a guide dog so I can take him everywhere, but it is possible.
How nice of your boyfriend to be around for a few weeks to help. :)
Good luck to you and can't wait to see the little pup!
 

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I have always worked full time and managed to raise 2 dogs from puppyhood. It's hard, but it will work out. And they are only puppies for so long, and then they get older and are able to "hold it". I swear mine don't move a muscle the whole day I'm at work. And on my days off, all they do is sleep also. When I make them go outside and play sometimes I feel like I'm disturbing their schedule! :)
Having someone to come over and let her out and potty and play for a little while would be great. I know you feel that crating that long is mean, but keeping her in the crate will make housetraining sooooo much easier. If you leave her loose in a room it will only teach her that it's ok to go to the bathroom on the floor. My 4 lb, 4 month old maltese/poodle foster was reliably crate trained withing a few days of me getting him, and could go all night without having to go out.
 
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